Artists on life in Egypt In Mojo Gallery's new show
Offering first-hand accounts of the daily lives of Egyptians leading up to the Arab Spring and the unrest that followed, an exhibition entitled ‘Hadutta Misraya’ comments on the way in which Egyptians have persevered in the face of adversity.
Featuring the works of established Egyptian artists, including Hany Rashed, Guirguis Lotfi and Mohamed Abla (who camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to document the uprising), the show, at Mojo Gallery, explores themes such as commercialism, propaganda, the family unit and conflict. We hear from two of the artists.
Mohamed Abla 58, Egyptian
What does this piece represent? It shows three soldiers holding each other’s hands in the middle of Tahrir Square. The people in the background appear foggy. For me, that means the army wants to show they are in control.
What materials have you used? I used oil colours on photo on paper.
How has your work been influenced by the Arab Spring? I was not only influenced by the Arab spring, I was in the middle of the action, helping as an activist and documenting the events with my camera.
What else influences you? I was influenced mostly by the people in Tahrir Square. The most important questions were how they could manage to go on living by existing with the bare minimum, and how they could survive.
What inspires you? The crowd and the millions of people in Tahrir Square. Especially when I had the chance to climb on one of the highest buildings beside the square to watch from the top.
What makes you proud to be Egyptian? I’m proud to be Egyptian because although it is a very old nation, we have the ability to act young and powerful and be creative.
Hany Rashed, 36, Egyptian
What does this piece represent? The artwork is influenced by old posters of Egyptian products.
What materials have you used? Acrylic on canvas.
How has your work been influenced by the Arab Spring? My artwork tends to steer far from Egyptian politics and reflects Western subjects.
What else influences you? The clothing that influences people and characterises them is my foremost inspiration.
What inspires you? The internet made a huge difference in influencing contemporary Egyptian art.
What makes you proud to be Egyptian? I’m proud to be Egyptian because I was able to join my fellow Egyptians in the January 25 revolution.
Exhibition: ‘Hadutta Misraya’, until December 30 at Mojo Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 347 7388). Artists: Mohamed Abla, Hany Rashed, Guirguis Lotfi